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Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor

Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words

June 21, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Proposed arena debated at Seattle City Hall

Let’s make a bet

Dear Seattle City Council,

Quoted from, Peter Steinbrueck said: “I would bet money it’s not possible to fit the proposed new arena in the existing boundaries of the stadium district,” Steinbrueck said after his testimony. [“Von Reichbauer calls for public vote on Hansen’s stadium plan,”, June 19.]

I find it a bit laughable that Steinbrueck would make this blasé claim in the face of months of study and preparation by Chris Hansen, the mayor’s and King County executive’s offices. I would like to take Steinbrueck up on his offer. How much, Peter? Them is great odds! Too bad I can’t find your email address anywhere.

In all seriousness, I am asking for your support for the arena proposal — you will be heroes to tens of thousands of Sonics fans.

—Jeremy Ward, Seattle

What’s best for Seattle?

I was relieved to see coverage of the Port of Seattle’s concerns over the proposed new arena [“Port and fishing industries are more important,” Northwest Voices,, June 19]. However, it is regrettable that the discussion continues to revolve solely around traffic impacts.

Step back a minute, everyone.

Is another arena really best for the city? It is ironic that we are tearing down the viaduct and building another sort of wall along the waterfront: a wall of mega-sports facilities. What will another sports facility do to the already struggling Pioneer Square area?

Sports fans have simply not proved to be the sort of art and boutique patrons that area needs. Sodo should evolve more incrementally as a place for different kinds of businesses and residents, the classic “mix of uses” that Jane Jacobs emphasized for sustained economic development.

— Jennifer Gerend, Seattle

Identity and unity

What people must realize about the financing of major arenas is that it is crucial the public has their hands on the issue, and the way to do that is to pay into it.

Arenas and stadiums are one of those things designed to seat and function a major portion of our people in events that are usually hosted by something the public can brand a local identity and unity.

Go Sonics! People generally agree, black and white, young and old, and can all talk about it with one another.

Privately owned arenas are no different from a Walmart; it is crucial for the public to keep their hands on that stuff and control of their identity — that is part of being a world-class culture ... not becoming some faceless, processed wash of a culture.

The process of Seattle politics sometimes prevails creatively. The private/public ownership deals we have cut on our stadiums and arenas are generally progressive politics. This Hansen deal is the most awesome yet, providing an asset to buy into.

Build it! Invest, keep control.

— Douglas Mays, Seattle

Our World’s Fair

The ultimate Seattle irony: on Channel 9, a two-hour special highlights the foresight, tenacity and entrepreneurial ingenuity that brought us the 1962 World’s Fair, leaving us the Seattle Center, which has sustained a large part of the city’s cultural identity for the past 50 years. Switch the channel and watch today’s politicians finding 953 reasons why Chris Hansen and his partners shouldn’t be allowed to move forward with a new arena.

Think a World’s Fair could happen today? Are you kidding? Your forefathers believed in a 600-foot tower with a revolving restaurant on top. How’d that work out?

Your risk is nothing compared with that! Come on Seattle, embrace the opportunity and just do it!

— Tom Hawley, North Bend

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